La Crosse names Dernbach interim coach

More news about: UW-La Crosse | UW-Stevens Point
Kent Dernbach was the interim head coach at UW-Stevens Point for the Pointers' final 13 games of the 2016-17 season.
Photo by Larry Radloff,

UW-La Crosse selected UW-Stevens Point assistant Kent Dernbach as its interim head coach, replacing Ken Koebl who resigned in mid-September. Dernbach had been a member of Bob Semling's staff at Stevens Point since 2011.

"I am so impressed with Kent's passion for working with these young men and how that translates into the game of basketball," said UW-La Crosse Director of Athletics Kim Blum in the school's release. "Kent has a wealth of experience as a coach that enables him to move our program forward immediately.  His familiarity with the WIAC will only add to the smoothness of this transition."

Before his time at UW-Stevens Point, Dernbach spent two seasons apiece at Division I Northern Illinois and George Mason as the programs' directors of basketball operations and two seasons as an assistant at Division III Marymount. Dernbach earned his Bachelor's degree from Carthage where he played basketball for the Red Men and his Master's degree from the Ohio State University.

Dernbach replaces Ken Koebl who resigned as La Crosse's head coach after 14 seasons in that position. Koebl, who was also a Stevens Point assistant before coming to La Crosse, will remain with the university in a full-time position in its admissions office where he has worked since 2003.

According to the State of Wisconsin's regulations, Dernbach will serve as the interim head coach this season and the University will then conduct a full national search at the end of the season. Dernbach will be eligible to apply for the position with the advantage of having led the program for one season.

"I could not be more excited to seize this unique opportunity and be named the next head men's basketball coach at UW-La Crosse," said Dernbach in the release.  "Having followed the WIAC my entire life, in addition to the familiarity I have gained over the past six years, has led to a great deal of admiration for UWL."

Dernbach finished last season as the interim head coach at Stevens Point after the University suspended head coach Bob Semling for the final 13 games of the season. Stevens Point imposed the suspension and a postseason ban on its own as a result of the NCAA's investigation into practices held before the start of the 2015-16 season. The NCAA is yet to make a final ruling and may take additional action beyond the University's self-imposed punishment. has learned that findings from the NCAA's investigation of Stevens Point may not be released until the majority of the 2017-18 season is complete, depending on any committee review and appeals.